Ethnic Ethics

The Restructuring of Moral Theory

By Anthony J. Cortese

Subjects: Ethics, Sociology
Paperback : 9780791402801, 197 pages, July 1990
Hardcover : 9780791402795, 197 pages, July 1990

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Table of contents



Chapter 1: The Cognitive Development Approach to Morality: Philosophical Assumptions

Chapter 2: The Social Context of Language and Morality

Chapter 3: The Sociology of Knowledge and Moral Development

Chapter 4: Moral Judgment Method: Problems and Alternatives

Chapter 5: Ethnicity and Critique of Moral Theory

Chapter 6: Beyond Legitimation: The Judgment of Morality or the Morality of Judgment

Chapter 7: Communication without Domination: Language and Morality





This book explains and offers insights into the humanizing effects of the ethnic and cultural sources of moral values. The author provides an alternative to the concept of moral development formulated by Lawrence Kohlberg, arguing that morality is socially constructed, not based on rational principles of individuals.

Cortese offers critical analyses of ethnicity and moral judgment, combining two controversial and central areas: morality and race relations. Critiquing the cognitive-developmental model, Cortese examines social class, gender, and ethnic differences in moral judgment and concludes that moral judgment reflects the structure of social relations, not the structure of human cognition. He carefully situates his own argument in relation to both Kolbergian theory and the feminist critique thereof.

Anthony J. Cortese is Associate Professor of Sociology and the Director of Mexican American Studies at Southern Methodist University.


"The topic is very significant. First, the issue of moral development is central to contemporary theoretical debates in critical and contemporary sociological theory and gender studies. Second, bringing the issues of race and ethnicity into this debate is a very useful exercise that will add to the emerging sociological critique of ethical foundationalism. " — Robert J. Antonio, Department of Sociology, University of Kansas

"Cortese's research and work brings a clarity to the area that we seldom find. The work is lucid, timely, and opens up new directions in the field. " — Fabio B. Dasilva, Department of Sociology, University of Notre Dame